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Poultry Industry Driving Animal Waste Bill

by 5m Editor
7 September 2007, at 10:05am

WASHINGTON - Oklahoma's attorney general Thursday blasted what he said was a "transparent attempt" by Arkansas poultry companies to circumvent federal environmental laws.

Attorney General Drew Edmondson said a bill to exempt animal waste from regulation under the Superfund Act was brought on by the Arkansas-based poultry companies being sued by the state of Oklahoma over pollution of the Illinois River watershed.

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"I'm proud to fight for our farmers and ranchers, both large and small, and the communities they support that could be unfairly affected if we do not take this necessary step,"

Attorney General Drew Edmondson

Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., is lead sponsor of the legislation to keep manure from being considered a hazardous waste under Superfund.

Edmondson decried the bill as a way to weaken Superfund and derail Oklahoma's fight to get poultry producers to clean up the state's waterways.

"I think (the bill) is something the Farm Bureau and poultry council brought to Washington because of this lawsuit," Edmondson said.

Lincoln said in a statement that the legislation would clarify that Congress never meant for manure to be considered hazardous.

"I'm proud to fight for our farmers and ranchers, both large and small, and the communities they support that could be unfairly affected if we do not take this necessary step," she said.

Edmondson testified Thursday before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, which heard how large-scale farming operations affect public health.

Edmondson and others blamed large operations, so-called "factory farms," for overwhelming air and water pollution.

Source: ArkansasNewsBureau

5m Editor